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GAME REVIEW: Resident Evil HD Remastered (2014)

By Nick Durham

Good fucking grief, how many times can you remake this fucking game? The original Resident Evil came out in 1996 believe it or not, and I have fond memories of playing the shit out of it in my youth and feeling a sense of accomplishment when I finally beat the damn thing. That in itself is a small triumph. This was when the Internet was in its infancy and just looking up walkthroughs online like you can today wasn't a thing (and I didn't believe in strategy guides because strategy guides are for pussies), and I think I spent more money renting the damn thing so many times than the actual game was worth.

All that is beside the point, however, as going back to the original Resident Evil today makes you realize that the game has not aged well at all. Its super cumbersome controls and the historically atrocious voice acting combined with the glitchy and frustrating AI tarnishes the memories I have of it...but that didn't stop Capcom from first releasing a Director's Cut of the game a few years later (around the time Resident Evil 2 first came out) that supposedly fixed some issues (spoiler alert, it didn't). Then, in 2002, Capcom completely remade the game for the Nintendo Gamecube. This version fixed a lot of the problems that plagued the original, with new graphics and gameplay elements that made the game more enjoyable than ever. So really, how does remaking the game in HD for modern consoles end up faring?

For starters, Resident Evil HD Remastered is basically almost the exact same as the Gamecube release 13 years ago. Granted there are quite a few graphical touch ups here and there, with upgraded texture mapping, backgrounds, and character animations. All these touch ups really do help make the game look absolutely beautiful, no doubt about that. I've never seen an old school-type Resident Evil game look so goddamned good. Seriously, there are parts in this game that are jaw-dropping. Capcom really did outdo themselves in the graphics department here, there's no doubt about that.

In terms of the actual gameplay elements, you get to choose between the original control scheme or an updated take on them, which is a nice touch because playing with the original tank-like controls these days makes me want to pull my fucking hair out. If you've played the game at all before in any iteration, then you're likely not going to be frightened by any of the game's offerings of shocks and scares, because you've already seen them before. That being said, they can still be nerve-wracking, and super enjoyable to boot.

The flaws of Resident Evil HD Remastered are mostly the same flaws that have appeared throughout the early entries of the series. The super limited camera angles can be a major pain in the ass, but if you've played the old Resident Evil games for any length of time, you already know this. Not to mention the fact that the game's inventory system is so goddamn dated and annoying that it just never really works all that well. Granted it never has, and granted that this is a survival horror game we're talking about (and the name of the game with that genre is trying to think ahead because you have to, well, fucking survive), but even still it feels like one of the most dated aspects of the game.

Flaws aside, Resident Evil HD Remastered is a blast to play regardless. It will make you remember just what made you fall in love with the franchise in the first place, and will also help ease you away from any recent bad memories that the much maligned Resident Evil 6 managed to create. So, whether it's your first time playing the original Resident Evil or your hundredth, check out this HD remake. You won't be disappointed.

RATING: 4/5

Posted by Alan Smithee

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